Showing posts from July, 2015

From the Past: Royal Wedding Splendour of 1965

Royal wedding splendour

BRUNEI Town (July 31, 1965) – A colourful Bersanding ceremony on July 29, 1965 brought to a glittering climax to the week-long ceremony of the marriage of Brunei’s Crown Prince, Pengiran Muda Mahkota Hassanal Bolkiah, to his cousin Pengiran Anak Saleha.

The Crown Prince, wearing traditional Brunei Malay costume, walked with his followers from the Istana Darul Hana to the home of the bride’s father, Pengiran Pemancha, 100 yards away.

This was the first occasion they had seen each other since the celebrations began.

From 4pm, sitting side by side on a raised platform draped with golden finery, they gazed solemnly ahead – as the occasion demands – at the many guests who thronged the room.

Afterwards, they led a procession of 50 cars through the streets of Brunei. In the procession were members of the royal family, heads of government departments and other dignitaries. Children waving flags lined the route.

The procession over, the Crown Prince and his bride returned to …

Brunei Pursues Greater Sukuk Liquidity

The Oxford Business Group reported the following news:
Brunei pursues greater sukuk liquidity

Brunei DarussalamFinancial Services
Economic News Update
29 Jul 2015

Further solidifying the importance of Islamic finance in Brunei Darussalam’s developing capital market, the country’s financial regulator said in June it is preparing to issue long-term sharia-compliant bonds in the near future.

The Sultanate has a strong track record of sukuk (Islamic bonds) issuance dating back to 2006; however, all 118 of the issues to date, which total BN$8.6bn ($6.3bn), have had maturities of one year or less and were sold exclusively to the country’s seven domestic commercial banks.

With the regulator announcing its intention to widen the list of eligible buyers for the upcoming issue, the prospects of a more liquid sukuk market, as well as the development of a secondary market, are attracting investor attention.
Deepening the market

According to the IMF’s most recent report, published in June, Brunei D…

110,000 Hari Raya Visitors to Nurul Iman Palace

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

SWELTERING heat did not diminish the festive spirit of thousands of well-wishers at Istana Nurul Iman during the last day of the royal family’s annual Hari Raya meet and greet, which saw more than 100,000 visitors descend on the palace.

Some 39,943 people made their way to the palace on the final day of the open house, bringing the three-day total to 109,642.

This year’s number is the second highest that was ever recorded. The highest volume of visitors was recorded in 2012, when 110,728 people visited the palace.Dressed in their finest attire, visitors queued for hours for the rare opportunity to meet the monarch and other royal family members. The day was divided into morning and afternoon sessions, each lasting about two hours.

Receiving male guests in the Baitul Rahmah Hall were His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam; HRH Prince …

Foreign Visitors Views on Nurul Iman Palace Hari Raya


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

FIRST-TIME foreign visitors were in awe with Istana Nurul Iman as His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam opened his doors to celebrate Aidil Fitri with the public.

Timothy Lynch, an Australian senior lecturer at Monash University, said he was impressed with how the monarch was able to meet the public and offer food to any visitor at the palace.

“Being able to do such speaks volume about his disposition towards being a leader and a king,” he said.“To me, this is quite a unique situation in Brunei because in other countries, they may only be able to do that or perhaps, will only select a number of people to visit the palace,” he added on the first day when the palace was open to the public.

Lynch was transiting in the country with his wife, Effie Pollatos, and his three children before heading home after visiting his in-laws in the United Kingdom.

“Both me and my …

HM Sultan Brunei: Be Grateful for Peace, Stability

Saturday, July 18, 2015

BE GRATEFUL for the peace and stability that the nation has been blessed with, His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam told Bruneians.

Delivering his customary Aidil Fitri titah that was broadcast on state media last night, the monarch said it does not matter that Brunei is small so long as it is free from crisis and turmoil.

This peace is a blessing that not every country, not even those far larger and richer, can experience, he said.

His Majesty told citizens and residents of Brunei to be grateful for the peace that Allah SWT has bestowed on the sultanate, and to shield and strengthen this blessing.

In light of Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, the monarch said in this moment filled with blessings and harmony, it is important for those who receive blessings, to feel obligated to be thankful for it.

“Gratitude is a quality of the pious and whoever…

French Ambassador: Brunei Can Play Role in Combating Islamaphobia

Thursday, July 16, 2015

BRUNEI can play an important role in combating terrorism and Islamophobia by promoting its “moderate” brand of Islam, said the French ambassador to the Sultanate.

Loan Forgeron lauded the long-standing security relationship between the two countries, saying both parties shared close cooperation in counter terrorism and monitoring transnational borders.

“We know now the very violent context of our modern world. There are terror groups present in Malaysia and Indonesia, so it is very important to secure borders because Daesh (the Arab name for the terror group known as the ‘Islamic State’) is expanding everywhere, recruiting from this part of the world,” she said in a recent interview.

“Brunei has not been infiltrated by these groups because for a long time the government’s policies reflects and anticipates what could happen here.”

The envoy said police cooperation through training in security, narcotics and human trafficking conti…

Royal Brunei Air Force Get C-130J Super Hercules

Thursday, July 16, 2015

THE Royal Brunei Air Force (RBAirF) is slated to take delivery of its C-130J Super Hercules in 2018.

The addition of the American-made transport aircraft hopes to further boost the capability of the RBAirF.

Brigadier General (U) Dato Seri Pahlawan Hj Wardi Hj Abdul Latip, commander of the RBAirF, said they were currently in the process of acquiring the military transport aircraft from aerospace Lockheed Martin with a delivery date scheduled between 2018 and 2019.

He added the C-130J Super Hercules will enable the RBAirF to significantly increase its contribution to regional humanitarian aid operations.

Used primarily by the United States military and Royal Air Force of the British Armed Forces, the C-130J is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft with new engines, flight deck and other systems developed from the C-130 Hercules.

Variants of the C-130 Hercules are also in service today with the armed forces of Malaysia, the…

21 Cannon Salute to His Majesty on 69th Birthday

Royal Brunei Armed Forces personnel firing the 21-cannon salute for His Majesty’s 69th birthday yesterday in Bandar Seri Begawan. Thousands of Muslims nationwide congregated at mosques yesterday to perform thanksgiving prayers to celebrate the 69th birthday of the monarch. His Majesty attended the ceremony at the Masjid Jame’ ‘Asr Hassanil Bolkiah where congregants also performed mass Zuhur and Sunat Hajat prayers, recital of ‘Surah Yasin’ and ‘tahlil’ yesterday. BT/Zaim Kasmat

Special Public Holiday for HM Birthday 2015

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

AUGUST 15 has been declared a special holiday to celebrate His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s belated 69th birthday.

His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office made the announcement during the second meeting of the national committee for the monarch’s birthday celebration.

A belated celebration will take place on the special holiday involving a parade at Taman Hj Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien and an investiture ceremony at Istana Nurul Iman.

In his sabda delivered at the Prime Minister’s Office, the Crown Prince (pic) in his capacity as the national committee’s patron, also announced that His Majesty’s birthday today will be observed with a 21-gun salute on the morning of July 15 and thanksgiving prayers in the afternoon.

Similar to previous years, the monarch’s …

16,479 Get Special Gifts from His Majesty Sultan Brunei

Sunday, July 12, 2015

A TOTAL of 16,479 people – comprising orphans, the less fortunate and those with special needs – have received kurnia peribadi (personal gifts) from the monarch this year, ahead of upcoming Hari Raya Aidil Fitri celebrations.

For the past six years, the endowment has been given to individuals registered with the government as requiring “special assistance”, regardless of their being locals or foreigners.In the second event this week, members of the royal family dispersed the kurnia to 7,953 people in concurrent ceremonies held across the country.

In Brunei-Muara, His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, and Her Royal Highness Princess Hjh Majeedah Nuurul Bolkiah were on hand to give out the kurnia to some 3,385 people at Istana Nurul Iman.

Meanwhile in Belait, 2,246 recipients lined up at Pusat Insani in Seria to rece…

Tanglung Decorative Lights in Brunei in 1950s

‘Tanglong’ for Hari Raya in the 50s

Posted date: July 04, 2015

| Haji Mohd Daud Abd Rahman |

THE arrival of the month of Syawal was highly anticipated by Kg Ayer residents back in the 50s. The elders would be seen busy setting up decorative lightings in the form of ‘tanglong’ or lanterns which were aptly named ‘tanglong bulan’, ‘tanglong bintang’ and ‘tanglong bulat’.

Another traditional form of decorative lightings is made from bottles. The bottles would be filled with kerosene so that it would illuminate once the wick is lit.

On the first and second nights into Hari Raya festivity, these decorative lights would brighten the water village while children would be seen happily singing Hari Raya songs and playing fireworks.

Nowadays, most of the traditional decorative lightings no longer exist. Times have changed where people now prefer buying illumination lights which are sold just about anywhere.

Courtesy of The Borneo Bulletin

Caring for Brunei's Marine Ecosystem


Monday, July 6, 2015

CORAL reefs contain some of the highest biodiversity of any ecosystem on the planet, but it continues to face serious threats from direct human actions such as overfishing, water pollution and sedimentation.

Experts estimate about 27 per cent of coral reefs worldwide have been lost, while another 15 per cent of coral reefs are in critical condition.

Brunei alone is home to 410 reef-building coral species, which shelters a rich fish diversity of 711 species.

However, the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources warned “their beauty could be marred by their fragility and susceptibility to damaging threats”.

The government conducts its own Coral Conservation, Awareness, Rehabilitation and Enrichment (CARE) Programme, but volunteer divers have also joined forces in a bid to protect coral reefs.

Organised by the Student Community Outreach Team (SCOT), a group of eight volunteer divers recently completed the second phase of the Green Xchange (GX) H…

HM Sultan Brunei: Understand Lessons in Quran

Saturday, July 4, 2015

HIS Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday stressed the importance of understanding the lessons in the Quran, and to not just memorise its contents.

During a religious event to mark Nuzul Al-Quran (Revelation of the Quran) at the International Convention Centre last night, the monarch said the country aims to nurture a generation of people with strong faith derived from the Quran’s teachings.

“This is the goal, so that our generation is not only proficient in reading the Quran but is also able to understand its contents,” he said.“The important thing here is faith – if we are to read, memorise and learn a lesson from the Quran, then it shall be faith. Faith is the sole condition for us to obtain healing and blessings.”

His Majesty said he was happy with efforts to uphold the importance of the Quran among the people, evidenced by several institutes…

Deputy Defence Minister: Defence Spending to GDP Ratio

Friday, July 3, 2015

THE deputy minister of defence is advocating for a defence spending to GDP ratio amid a ministry-wide review prompted by a 25.26 per cent cut to the 2015/2016 defence budget.

Dato Paduka Hj Mustappa Hj Sirat recently cautioned against taking national security for granted, pointing out the element of certainty in proposed defence spending is crucial to achieving maximum outcome in defence planning.

“This is why I am advocating for a specific long-term budgeting system to be applied to defence as a ratio of the GDP,” he told The Brunei Times in an interview.

His recommendation came following a review undertaken by the Ministry of Defence (MinDef) that aimed to establish a baseline for defence spending “without compromising operational effectiveness, welfare and morale” of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF).

The current defence budget dropped to $537.490 million from $719.15 million for 2014/2015, owing to the dip in Brunei’s revenue fro…